“Work? Last night?” Willow asked hopefully.
Yeah, work, another place which now had Spike connotations, which she hoped was not another word for residue or something. Now she’d have to dump garbage in the alley and try not to look the fire escape in the eye.
“It was okay.” “It was more than okay. He kissed me in such a way my knees are still quivering now, and I’d really like to know what it would be like in a bed, hell, even on a floor that didn’t have construction debris all over it…Oh, crap. Carpeting. Carpeting would be good. Crap again. Bad thoughts”.
“Well,” she sighed. “I worked. It was boring, and then it was over, and for this I will get paid the sort of wages they do exposes about on Sixty Minutes.”
She looked expectantly at Will, but noticed how deflated her friend suddenly looked.
“Maybe somebody else came back wrong besides me”, she thought. “From where? The living room? At least I have an excuse. God, what if there was a camera in the back room? What would it be like if we just took our time? Crap.” She sighed, and then abruptly realized that her sigh was being misinterpreted by her best friend.
“ ‘s okay, Will, I just have to get used to…” “Getting kissed like that. Maybe if I got some more practice at it….Crap.” ”Well”, she thought, “at least now I know why Spike says bloody hell all the time. I feel exactly like that right about now. “Willow looked very subdued.
“Do you have to work again tonight?” “No. Have to patrol.” “In Spike’s crypt. No. Absolutely not. Bad. Very bad Buffy. It was only twice, there’s still time to call it a bad habit…”
Although, technically speaking, it hadn’t been just twice. Not if you counted everything….How did one quantify sexual acts? Did it just count if, at the conclusion, someone, not that names needed to be named, scratched a certain party’s back and wasn’t even aware of it till much, much later?
Not even then, it had to be at least six times, which was beyond the bad habit category, and how could it be a bad habit, a mere activity, when…She suddenly saw Spike’s face so vividly it was almost like he was in front of her.
“It wasn’t just the orgasm Olympics or something”, she thought suddenly. “Not for him. Crap. “ “You need to rest,” Willow said. “You just look so tired.”
“Yeah. Maybe I am.” Buffy said quietly. “I slept clean through the alarm.” “That’s okay.” Willow said cheerfully. “That’s what I’m here for.” “To make sure I sleep through the alarm?” “Yes, that’s my mission in life.” Willow eyed her with a trace of her old sarcasm. “No, getting Dawn off to school, making the breakfast….I mean, if you’re going to keep working the night shift, that works well with the Slayage, and then I have school during the day, so there’ll always be someone around for Dawn.”
”Yes, Dawn”. Buffy thought. “God, what would she think if she knew?” Then a new and more insistent thought reared its head. “What would Xander think?” Xander. Buffy looked up at Will, but the other girl had taken her plate to the sink, and was running hot water---a lot of hot water, which was expensive…to wash their breakfast dishes. Will would try to understand. And try to talk her out of it. And Xander would be furious, but who with was the question.
Why did they have to know? Like any fever it would run its course….Buffy stopped that thought suddenly, knowing that it was unfair.
“Will? I’m going to go take a shower, okay?”
She brought her still half-full bowl of cornflakes to the sink, and Will gave her a cheery smile. “Okay.”
Was it her imagination, or was Will doing lots more housework since Dawn’s broken arm? Admittedly, some of it was just because Dawn simply couldn’t do things. But some of it was undoubtedly guilt. Or at least she hoped it was guilt.
The worst thing, Buffy thought uncomfortably, was that Will didn’t seem too guilty. The subject had not been brought up, and Buffy had tried, and then, deciding that perhaps Will was too unnerved by it, had simply waited. But within days, Will had gone back to being perky, and Buffy had started to get nervous.
”Why is it that Will doesn’t feel bad about causing the accident that got Dawn’s arm broken, and I feel bad about making love with someone who makes me scream?”Buffy froze, half way up the steps. Not making love. Just sex. With Riley, that had been making love….but this was just sex. Not to Spike.
She flopped down on her bed, and sat there, and now her thoughts were as traitorous as her body. She was worried about what her friends thought if they found out she was having sex with Spike. What would they say if she said it was more? She knew he wouldn’t hesitate to come clean, if only she gave the okay. Actually, he already had. The gang all knew how he felt about her, except, oh, yes, he hadn’t had that opportunity. She was the one who’d told everybody, making it sound as if it were some sort of sick adolescent crush.
But it was!
Was. Not anymore. Certainly he had changed.
”People don’t change, her right brain countered. Do vampires? It’s impossible. So is bringing the dead back to life. Crap .”
Was it her?
With Riley, after they made love, she’d be happy for a while, a couple of days. If they made love, fine, if not, fine. She had to admit that. And he had been so stoic about it. An occasional groan, some grimacing, but he was always in charge. Always in control. Always so logical, even in bed, the last place in the world she wanted…logic. Bad. Very bad.
Even before the next thought had sprung from her subconscious, she could feel her face flushing. With Spike, she could still be breathing as fast and as hard as if she’d run an obstacle course, and he could have only just pulled out of her, and she would want him again. Only exhaustion had stopped them, and she didn’t even know vampires could be exhausted.
Spike certainly wasn’t stoic, either. She had loved watching him in extremis, watching the sensations course over his face, even his body, like reflections skating over the surface of a lake at twilight. He held nothing back, not from her, and she knew if she asked for more, he wouldn’t hesitate. Was it his feelings for her that made the difference? Was it just him?
Because I’m just the same with him.
Because I have no control with him.
Because if I act like he does, does that mean I feel the same way?
”Hm. Crap. Grrrrr. Argh”.
Buffy yawned explosively and wondered when precisely her bedroom ceiling had developed that water stain. Someone was tapping on her door, and she didn’t think it was a raven. Dawn poked her head in.
“Is there a minimum daily requirement of harassment you have to dish out?”
“Yeah, well, somone’s got to.” Dawn came over and flopped on the bed. “Will said your work went okay.”
“Yeah.” Buffy said cautiously. Hm, normal conversation with a teenager? Could this be happening? “It wasn’t bad.”
“I could get a job, too.” Dawn said softly, and Buffy’s heart twisted.
Before she could do more than that, Dawn rushed ahead.
“I could deliver papers, you know.”
“In Sunnydale? With a broken arm?”
“After the broken arm is fixed.” Dawn said loftily. Buffy bit back any number of replies. “Besides, I could get Spike to help me.”
Spike. Helping Dawn. Saving her life, she could believe. But….Buffy was literally rendered speechless by the mental image Dawn so casually provoked. Spike. With an excuse to be in the house before the sun rose every morning. Bad. Very bad.
“Why do you want to get a job, Dawn? You’re only fifteen.”
“Cause.” Dawn said softly, bowing her head. “Cause you’re working, and you’re so tired all the time, and---and----I want to help. Cause we might lose the house.”
“Who said that?”
“I heard someone talking.”
“Now you’re mad.”
“Sweetie, I’m not mad at you. But I really don’t think it’s that bad, and I’d know. And nobody should be saying stuff like that about you.”
“But you were so tired you slept all day. You shouldn’t have to work like that, at that place, you should have some fun….You sang….”
“Oh, Dawnie….” Buffy sat up. “I’m a grownup. That’s part of the job. My job is to make sure that you ---you don’t have to get a job.”
“What if I just want to make some money for stuff?”
“Like how much money do you need? And what for? Hard drugs?”
Dawn giggled, a sure sign she was trying. Buffy was startled; she was almost sure Dawn would have exploded in a fit of fifteen-year-old hormones. “No, soft drugs only.” She said pertly.
“Give me some time, Dawnie, okay? This is the Hellmouth. Do we even have paperboys?”
“I’ve seen the want ads for them.”
“Were the ads placed by the Sunnydale Register, or by the Vampire Times?”
“Funn—eeee. Not.” Dawn flopped back on the bed. “Are you going to patrol tonight?”
“Yeah. “Buffy got up and stretched.
“Could you ask Spike what he thinks?”
“Oh. Uh.” Buffy wondered just how flushed her face got. “Sure. If I see him.” “Crap. Now I have a reason to see him, instead of an excuse. Crap”.
Patrol actually went rather well. Staking vamps enabled her to get her suddenly all-too-imaginative mind off one of them; then suddenly she looked around, and there weren’t any there. Except one. Crap.
“Nice skirt, love. Didn’t realize you were that big a fan of Britney.”
He lit a cigarette while she thought, “Bloody hell. Why did I wear a skirt? Haven’t done that in ages”.
Not since last night, at any rate. She flushed abruptly. How could it be so difficult talking to him when it was positively effortless to kiss him…?
”Laundry day. Nothing else clean.” “And here I thought I was the inspiration.” His eyes flicked up and down. “You’re all tense, luv. Didn’t sleep well?”
She stared at him for a minute, thinking, why is this conversation happening in a graveyard? Why can’t I have The Talk in a restaurant? Other people do. She braced herself preparing to hear things about herself that would make her cringe because they were true, and then looked at him, suddenly, wondering what was going on. She could just about hear something snapping. What was she doing standing away from him when she just wanted to climb up him like he was a tree?
“No. I didn’t sleep good. I have a lot on my mind.”
She cocked her head at his tone, the tone that came out when she needed it most. It seemed to spring from the corner of his personality that the others never saw, only she and Dawn. Which was, of course, a problem in itself.
“Such as….” She sighed deeply, thinking of words that would keep him at bay till she was overwhelmed again. “Such as….”
Oh, hesitation. That was very bad, because it allowed her to remember things she shouldn’t be remembering. Because then she wanted to try them all over again.
“Look, Buff,” Spike tossed his cigarette on the ground. “I’d love to sit and wait for you to make up your mind, but I figured it’d take less time to wait for the seasons to change, okay? So why don’t you let me know when you come to a decision?”
“I can’t keep doing this. “
He looked at her, the sort of look he usually had when they were about to rip each others’ clothes apart. Actually, now that she thought about it, it wasn’t that different from the Secret Spike look he had when he was being nice.
“You know how I feel about you; all I want to know is how you feel about me. That’s it. Real simple. Just….that. But I can’t keep doing this.” HE shook his head, a bit of anger in the movement. “Or you.”
“What am I supposed to say, Spike?” She burst out.
He literally brushed her off, waving off the rest of whatever she had been about to say, turning and walking away from her.
“Okay. How about this?” She grabbed his sleeve.
“How am I supposed to explain something to you that I don’t understand myself? I don’t understand this, and I understand dying, and killing, and vampires, and demons, and all sorts of things. But I don’t understand what I feel about you. And you know why, Spike!”
She held her ground as he flinched away from her look. “’What did it take to pry apart the Slayer’s dimpled knees?’”
He sighed at that, too, and she wondered if she’d gone too far, but it had to be said, and she knew that if it didn’t come bursting out now, she didn’t think she could be able to do it again.
“I don’t understand this, and it scares me. I’d be scared any time, but now? I really want to ask my Mom, but she’s not here. And my best friend?”
She took a breath that sounded perilously close to weeping, and Spike grimaced.
“Those guys you wanted to know about? They did everything they were supposed to, but I never felt like this with them. They had my heart in their hands, and they just squeezed…but you…..”
She took a deep breath that did nothing to settle her feelings, and then forged on ahead.
“You know how I really slept? I slept about as good as I ever have, at least since the night in that old house.”
She snapped the words out and Spike goggled at her.
“I slept really well then. I think it was you. I think it was being next to you. I don’t know what it is I feel about you, but I want you to know that. I just don’t know. It confuses me. I never felt this way before about anybody, and I don’t understand it. I don’t know if understanding it would be a good thing, but I just want you to know. I just…”
He stepped forward quickly, putting his mouth on hers before she realized it, and by the time she realized it, she was against the tree and his hands were cupping her buttocks, molding her against his front.
She broke off the kiss and shoved at his chest with both hands, which landed him on his butt in the grass. In an instant she was in his lap.
“Oh, God”, Buffy thought, “this is so bad, but how can it be bad, when he feels like this, when he tastes like this….”
She fumbled with the fly of his jeans, then ripped it impatiently, provoking a sharp intake of breath from Spike. She wasn’t sure if she’d hurt him or not, because he made exactly the same sound when her hand closed around him. Oh, he felt like silk in her hand, and then she was closing down on him, around him, which made Spike suck his breath in through his teeth.
He found her clitoris with his thumb and she rocked on it, her mouth waxing and waning against his, which was oddly exciting, enough of a distraction that it took him several seconds to realize that something was missing. Her panties. He traced up to her belly button with his free fingers and Buffy broke off the kiss as she realized what he was doing.
She had thrown him to the ground, his penis was inside her, she was just about to orgasm with his thumb buried against her, and she blushed a deep, deep red when she realized he’d discovered her secret.
For an endless moment, as her muscles convulsed hotly around him and pulled all of his senses with them, he thought that it had finally happened; they’d come so hard that they’d fused, and they’d be joined like this forever. It was so lengthy, so hard, that the roots of his hair hurt. ”Love doth make fools of men”, he thought foolishly, and wished he could remember the poet’s name.
He was so exhausted that he just wanted to die, but he suspected that would get him staked, even though it was a compliment in an odd sort of way. He could still feel throbs and pulses of pleasure in her muscles and his and he figured if he so much as moved there might be an unexpected encore.
Then he remembered the abashed way she’d looked, just before she came, when she’d realized her secret was out, and he had to give her such an involuntary, genuine smile that she grabbed his shoulders and kissed him ferociously.
Finally he had to break it off. Reluctantly, he lifted her off him, which was rather difficult to accomplish while joined at the lips, but he managed.
“What?” She said.
He saw the look of worry on her face, and wondered briefly how such a woman could possibly doubt her allure. He steadied her as she stood, and brushed leaves from the ridiculously demure skirt.
“I just remembered something.” He said softly.
“I have a bed.”
Continued in Chapter 3